gingerbread people in masks
Spreading holiday cheer in a year like no other
The defining feature of 2020 has been the pandemic, so it is a tricky balancing act to spread holiday cheer while acknowledging that 2020 has been a difficult year for most.

It is our hope, despite these challenges, you will find a way to celebrate the holidays and that peace, joy, and prosperity will define 2021.

Thank you for your support and ongoing partnerships. You are one of the reasons our college is a success story.

We are truly grateful for all the connections we have with so many diverse communities.

Convocation 2020 Style

One advantage to a virtual convocation ceremony is that every one of you can “attend.” Please join us Thursday, December 17, at 2 p.m., as we celebrate all our graduates.

Our awards ceremony also will be virtual. Tune in on Wednesday, December 16, at 2 p.m., to celebrate these stellar award recipients:

Outstanding Graduate Student
Lysette Davi 
Educational Policy Studies & Practice

Outstanding Senior
Ella Wood
Disability & Psychoeducational Studies

Outstanding Senior
Ella Wood
Rehabilitation Studies & Services

Outstanding Senior
Kristin Wook
Literacy, Learning & Leadership

Outstanding Elementary Education Student Teacher and
Lester & Roberta Smith Outstanding Teacher
Celina Moreno 

Managers, Leaders & Professional Contributors
Staff Award for Excellence
Senior Advisor Shaun Cahill 

Professional Contributors, Organizational Contributors & Classified
Staff Award for Excellence
Vocational Transition Specialist Carrie Hollman
thank a teacher illustration
A virtual gratitude wall for teachers
and others who make a difference
Expressing gratitude carries benefits for both the giver and the receiver. Showing appreciation not only strengthens relationships, but it can help both parties to savor the positive and be reminded of community impact.

This is just one of the reasons the college's Tucson Regional Educator Collaborative and Ben’s Bells Project joined forces to create a virtual gratitude wall to show teachers, principals, counselors, school bus drivers, etc., how much they are appreciated.
The gratitude wall was unveiled during TREC’s Educator Celebration held earlier this month. This is Ben’s Bells first virtual gratitude wall. Take a peek to see the nearly 300 notes of gratitude. If you are involved in education, you just may be on the list!
Remembering Alice Paul

Many of you will remember Alice Paul, who was a faculty member in the college for 30 years. She served as head of the college’s Department of Teaching & Teacher Education (now the Department of Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies) and was the first Native American academic department head at the university. She was recognized nationally as an authority on early childhood education and was remembered in this Arizona Alumni magazine article.

A side note: Paul’s daughter, Debbie Bergman, is a three-time College of Education alumna! Read more about Paul’s daughter on our website.
College of Education grad is the first ever!

November was Native American Heritage Month, so it was especially appropriate that Gabriella Cázares-Kelly (Tohono O'odham), a 2005 College of Education alumna, won the November election for Pima County Recorder. She is the first Indigenous person to hold a county-wide elected office and a first for the Tohono O'odham Nation.

Cazares-Kelly noted on her Facebook page, “I’m very proud to break through this barrier, but I am also aware that it means there has been a lack of representation in our local government. The state of Arizona is derived from the O’odham words alĭ ṣonak. Pima County is named after O’odham people. And the heart of Pima County is Cuk Ṣon — now known as Tucson — another O’odham word. We are surrounded by place names that come from the Tohono O’odham language, and yet no Tohono O’odham people or any other Native Americans have been a part of our county’s government. We have never been in the rooms or at the tables where decisions that impact our lives are being made. My win is a bittersweet accomplishment and we still have a long way to go.”
A Minke whale in Southern Arizona?

The geologic timeline of fossils tells us the Sonoran Desert was an aquatic region during the Paleozoic era, likely a shallow tropical ocean, so perhaps it is not a total stretch of the imagination to find an aquatic mammal in Southern Arizona. But this particular whale happens to be a skeleton donated to the Bisbee Science Lab by the College of the Atlantic in Maine and was delivered in a very large truck by one of its professors. Students with the Bisbee Science Lab and some of our own interns will clean and reassemble the whale skeleton, which will be installed at the Bisbee Science Lab's Outdoor Learning Center.

The donation also includes the bones of a pilot whale, which the Bisbee Science Lab will use as part of a traveling educational exhibit on biology, nature, and science throughout Cochise County. 

Professor of Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies Etta Kralovec, chair of the board of the Bisbee Science Lab, said they have been working on the acquisition for a year and a half. 

Arizona Public Media featured the new acquisition in this story.
mandy cleans minke whale skeleton
The college’s Paul Lindsey Graduate Intern Mandy Becker cleans the skeleton of the Minke whale to prepare it for installation.
colorful letters spelling the word people
Disability & Psychoeducational Studies

Associate Professor Desiree Vega (right) and school psychology doctoral student Alaina Puff published this article in the Phi Delta Kappan on how counselors and psychologists support the college aspirations of students of color.

Educational Policy Studies & Practice
Amanda Cheromiah headshot
The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development honored higher education doctoral student and Native SOAR Director Amanda Cheromiah with a 40 Under 40 Award, an award that recognizes 40 emerging American Indians from across Indian Country who demonstrated leadership, initiative, and dedication and made significant contributions in their communities.

Doctoral student and Honors College Assistant Director for Student Engagement Lysette Davi received
a 40 Under 40 Award, an honor given to Tucson professionals under the age of 40 for "significant achievements and contributions to their profession and community," by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Daily Star. The chamber cited her work toward "addressing social issues including homelessness, immigration, poverty, and public health." Davi also is the college's Outstanding Graduate Student!

Professor Jill Koyama was honored with the 2020 Lydia Kennedy LGBTQ+ Distinguished Leadership Award from the University of Arizona Health Sciences Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Given to a leader who demonstrates a strong commitment to building a safe, inclusive, and equitable campus for LGBTQ+ faculty, staff, residents, fellows, students, and patients. Koyama also the director of the Institute for LGBT Studiescultivates quality, inclusive health care for the LGBTQ+ community.

Sanlyn Buxner headshot
Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies

Associate Research Professor Sanlyn Buxner’s co-authored paper, Immersive, Interactive Virtual Field Trips, received the Journal of Geoscience Education 2020 Outstanding Paper Award.

norma gonzalez
Professor Emerita Norma González was the keynote speaker at the C&I Colloquium. Following her address, Acknowledging Subjectivities and Positionalities within Humanizing Pedagogies, participants discussed the talk in breakout rooms, then engaged Professor Emerita González about their conversations, and participated in a Q&A session with her.

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, Maricopa County Cooperative Extension featured Assistant Professor Jameson David Lopez on its Facebook page, noting that he received a bronze star for his actions in a combat zone during his deployment to Iraq plus his research in Indigenous data collection and statistics.

Tony Viola
Doctoral student Tony Viola was part of a Compassion into Action webinar that featured several faculty, staff, and students in a panel discussion about how a compassionate campus will help students succeed and increase the well-being of the entire campus community. Watch the recording.

Student Spotlight
Photo of Stella Felix with long curly hair in a green shirt with rolling hills in the background.
Tucsonan and early childhood education student Stella Felix is the chair of our Student Ambassadors Club and expects to graduate in the spring. We wanted to find out why she chose education as her major.

What led you to the College of Education?
When I first started college, I had everything planned out. I was a pre-physiology major and wanted to be either an OB/GYN or a pediatrician. But as I started taking all of the courses, I realized that I didn’t want to do medical stuff for the rest of my life. I had a midlife crisis at the age of 18. Teaching and becoming an educator found me when I least expected it. My uncle saw how lost I was and suggested that I come work part time for him at his school. He is the principal of a local K-12 charter school. That was where I fell in love with teaching, and the College of Education welcomed me with open arms. It is my second family.

What have you learned in the college that's made a difference to you?
What has surprised me the most is how well rounded the College of Education has made me. I have learned about every aspect of child development and how to best support children in their development. I have also learned a great deal about literacy acquisition and even children with mild to moderate disabilities. The field work that I have completed is vast and unforgettable. I have experienced pre-K, kindergarten, and soon, third grade. I feel absolutely prepared to go out and teach any grade because of how well the college has prepared me.

Tell us more about your role with the Student Ambassadors Club.
I am the chair, and I have been a part of the club for three years and have loved every minute of it. Being an ambassador has really helped my public speaking and general confidence overall. I'm able to talk to prospective students about the college and all that we have to offer. This really allowed me to solidify my choice in being in this college and has been a great networking opportunity.

I am also in the Peer Mentor Club that the College of Education offers. I have been a peer mentor for two years and have found this to be a very rewarding experience. As a peer mentor, I guide seven to 10 freshmen enrolled in the college throughout their first semester. I am basically their big sister given that I have just gone through what they are experiencing. I wish I had a peer mentor to help me through my transition to college and am glad that I can be that for someone else.

What will you do after you graduate?
I am currently planning on applying for the master’s program in language, reading, and culture. My dream job is to become a reading specialist. And that is exactly what this master’s program offers.
No matter how you celebrate, enjoy your holiday. To better days in 2021!

Bruce Johnson
Message from Development
You are invited to join the Erasmus Circle

The Erasmus Circle, named for the Renaissance scholar whose work in education changed humanity, provides crucial support for the College of Education to invest in scholarship, teaching, and research. Erasmus Circle members are passionate about supporting education initiatives and advocating for educators and leaders in our community. 

There are three membership levels: Partner ($1,000), Patron ($1,500), and Benefactor ($2,500). Both the Patron and Benefactor levels provide $1,000 scholarships, matching donors with one or two Erasmus Circle Scholars for the year.
The Erasmus Circle also supports an Erasmus Circle Faculty Fellow who is selected annually. The award honors an outstanding College of Education faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in their field.

Erasmus Circle members enjoy special events and opportunities to meet their scholars.
Become a member — it's a great way to engage with the college. Thank you for your consideration.

On another topic, I have received many questions about how the CARES Act may affect gift planning. Please read this summary of provisions applicable to charitable giving included in the CARES Act.

My best wishes for 2021!
Lee O’Rourke
Director of Development & Alumni Relations
We want to hear from you! Send your news to [email protected].
College of Education
1430 E. Second Street | P.O. Box 210069 | Tucson, Arizona 85721 | 520-621-1461